How To Can & Freeze Sweet Corn

Sweet corn like most vegetables, is a low acid food and can only be safely and dependably processed via a pressure canner.
If you understand the basic principles of pressure canning you should have no trouble canning corn.
I use the raw pack method when canning corn because it saves time and energy.

That’s the method I’m going to share with you in this post.
Here’s how I do it.

Gather and assemble the jars, lids, bands, jar lifter, jar funnel, a non-metallic tool to release air bubbles and the pressure canner.

Check to make sure ahead of time that everything is in good working order.
Visually examine the jars and check the rims to make sure that there are no cracks, nicks or sharp edges.

Wash the jars and bands in hot soapy water.
Dry the bands and set aside.
Keep the jars hot until ready to fill.
I use a dishwasher, but a sink full of hot water works just as well.  So does filling the jars with hot water and standing them in a sink or shallow pan.

Begin to heat a kettle full of water and simmer the lids.
The water in the kettle will be poured into the jars and over the corn.
Put the recommended amount of water in the canner and begin to heat it too.

Try and time the simmering of the lids, hot water in the kettle and canner to coincide with when you will be ready to pack the jars.


Collect fresh picked sweet corn.
Be careful not to try to do more than one canner load at a time. Corn is very perishable.

Husk the corn, remove the silk and rinse well with cold water.

While working quickly and without delay, cut the corn kernels from the cob and place into a bowl.Do not scrape the cobs.

Fresh corn is very time sensitive. Corn will turn sour if it waits too long to be packed into jars after being cut off the cob.

By now the water in the canner should be hot, the lids should be simmered and the kettle of water should be simmering too.


If you chose to add salt to your corn the standard measure is 1 teaspoon for quarts and 1/2 teaspoon for pints. I use less than half those amounts for my corn.
Fill a hot jar with corn taking care not to pack it in too tight.
Pour boiling water into the jar and over the corn leaving a 1″ head space.

Slide a non-metallic object down the sides of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.

Wipe the rim and sides of the jar with a clean wet cloth

and apply the lid

and band.

Place the jar into the canner so it will remain hot while you work on filling the other jars.

Keep the water in the canner just at a simmer while you are working.

When all the jars are filled put the lid on the canner and close it.


Allow the canner to vent for 5 -10 minutes or according to your canner’s manufacturer’s instructions.

After proper venting close the petcock valve or place the weighted gauge on the canner.

Processing time is counted from the time the weight first begins to juggle or when 10 pounds of pressure is reached on the dial.

Processing time for corn is 55 minutes for Pints and 1 hour and 25 minutes for Quarts
at 10 pounds of pressure.

Don’t forget to make adjustments in the processing time or pressure if you are above 1000 feet sea level.

The Amount Of Pressure Required To Reach 240° F

Sea Level-2,000 ft. 11 lb.
2,001-4,000 ft. 12 lb.
4,001-6,000 ft. 13 lb.
6,001-8,000 ft. 14 lb.
8,001-10,000 ft. 15 lb.

When the processing time is complete, carefully remove the canner from the heat or turn off the heat under the canner.
In either case allow the canner to cool naturally.
The canner is safe to open when the dial gauge reads “0″ or the weighted gauge ceases all hissing.

Always open the canner lid facing away from you.

Remove the jars from the canner and place the jars on a towel, board or thick layer of newspaper well out of the way of drafts.


Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 8 – 12 hours.

When the jars are completely cooled check the seal.
Remove the screw band before checking the seal.

The seal is checked by gently lifting the jar by the lid

and pushing down into the center of the lid. The lid should be slightly concave and have no spring to it.

If the lid bounces up and down the jar has not seal and the corn should be frozen, reprocessed or eaten promptly.
Jars should be wiped clean and stored in a cool dark place.

** A couple of hints about working with sweet corn**

Sweet corn is messy and sticky. It squirts everywhere when you cut if off the cob. Be sure to have plenty of wet cloths while you work to wipe your hands.
You’ll probably have to clean off your knife a couple of times.
Don’t work near a window or wall if you can help it.If you do, you’ll be cleaning windows and washing walls when you’re done. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Also, sometimes liquid is lost in the canning jar.
Don’t be concerned.
As long as the seal is good the food will not spoil.
If you click the photos of my finished corn you will be able to see that I lost liquid during the processing.

Freezing corn is much simpler than canning corn and results in a product that is much fresher tasting.
When I have leftover corn from canning that is not enough to make another full canner load, I always freeze it.

Corn for freezing is prepared exactly the same way as for canning; cut from the cob and handled in small amounts.
There are several different ways to freeze corn.
Here’s what works for me:
Place the corn in a saucepan and add a small amount of water to it – just enough to barely cover the corn.

Now heat the corn over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
You want the corn to simmer just a bit and to partially cook.

The corn will probably thicken a little and that’s okay.
After about 5 minutes drain the corn into a sink and add ice to the corn after it has drained.


After the corn has cooled you may have to pick out some ice if it hasn’t already melted.

Pack the cooled corn into rigid containers or into freezer bags.

Frozen corn will keep for 12 – 15 months depending upon freezer conditions.


Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. But for the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed.